First Person Test Run

I’m going to post the opening of The Bronze Lion today and listen to your feedback. I have a problem with verb tense in first person (which is why I don’t usually write in it) so please let me know what you think.

Chapter One

It was a hot, humid and absolutely miserable summer night in Virginia when I found out that monsters were real.

I had been lying on my bed trying to read one of the books that my new school had assigned for the summer reading program, sweating like a pig and feeling pretty sorry for myself. The book, by itself, wasn’t that big of a deal. It was a classic, The Red Badge of Courage, something I had read when I was in the sixth grade. It was a pretty easy read then, and childishly simple now. I was a bit worried about that. Last thing I needed was to move to a new home across the country and start school with the “nerd” label.

No, the book wasn’t bothering me. What was bothering me was the oppressive humidity, which made the air thick enough to swim in. Maybe even canoe in. Definitely swim, though. Throw in a near triple digit temperature and a lack of air conditioning and it made for one very unpleasant evening in Casa del Cole.

I tossed the book aside and sighed. I could feel the sheets on my bed sticking to my sweaty back, which was kind of a gross feeling. I sat up and looked around my bedroom for something to play with, but all I could see were my books, a board game which needed at least four to be fun and Mongo. And Mongo, the traitorous little ferret, looked comfortable as he slept in his miniature hammock.

Swinging my feet off the bed, I stood up and walked over to my bedroom window. My window wasn’t open, but I could see the dark forms of hills in the distance. The moon, which was full, was just rising from behind them. It was a pretty sight. It was also another needless reminder that I was a stranger in a strange land. I shifted my gaze from the moon to my window, which was reflecting some glare from the overhead light in my room. The sight turned my stomach a little.

Sticking to the window were a lot of bugs. I mean, a lot. They buzzed about, smacked into the glass pane and generally made a nuisance of themselves. Some of them were the size of small airplanes, and I swear I saw a mosquito out there that looked like it could carry away a Buick. Well, a small one at least. They were the reason I couldn’t open the window, why I would be forced to suffer in a breezeless room until my dad could get around to putting up a screen. The evil bloodsuckers. I suddenly had a brilliant idea.

If there aren’t any lights, the bugs won’t be attracted to my room, right?

For the record, I don’t always think my clever and brilliant plans through. My mom thinks it’s quaint. My dad? Well, I really don’t have enough words to explain.

I hurried over to the light switch and flipped it off. Using the light from the moon to guide my path, I walked back over to the window and slid the heavy frame up. A whiff of moderately cooler air drifted into the room and I almost let out a cheer. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because a second later a solid wall of gnats and mosquitoes flooded through the opened window and straight into my face.

“Argh!” I yowled pathetically as one bug dive bombed my ear. Another took advantage of my open mouth and swooped in for the easy kill. I coughed and gagged as the gnat landed on my tongue.

Yeah, it was gross. Not a brilliant idea.

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